Long before the computer became commonplace, many companies used software programs to enhance their business. The tech industry may be t...
Long before the computer became commonplace, many companies used software programs to enhance their business. The tech industry may be the first thing that comes to mind, but those companies just make the software.
Early software programs like Excel are very basic by today’s standards; however, back then, they opened possibilities that were previously impossible. The same holds true for software that’s created today. The latest software uses advanced technology to process big data, connect remote employees and keep you one step ahead of your customers.
1. Project Management Software
Virtually any business can benefit from a project management system. Software for project managers is designed to help users organize projects, prioritize tasks, assign tasks and monitor progress within one program. It provides a 1,000-foot view of the projects that are underway, but you can also drill down to details to see all of the specifics.
Another benefit of this type of software is that employees can collaborate together on a project and keep others posted on their progress. This is ideal for companies that have remote employees who contribute to team projects.
2. Search Engine Optimization Software
At one point, search engine optimization (SEO) was something that specialists and consultants handled for a high price. New SEO software programs are making it easier for businesses in all industries to improve search performance on their own.
Companies large and small are bringing SEO in-house with software that analyzes technical issues and optimizes the frontend and backend of websites. Since SEO is a long-term, ongoing process, software can make it much more affordable over time. The program does the legwork of gathering data and information, since it continuously runs in the background.
Some SEO software programs are comprehensive, while others are specialized. Programs can be developed to analyze competitor SEO efforts, find the best keywords, monitor backlinks or do everything at once.
3. Customer Relationship Management Software
The customers you’ve already won over are extremely valuable. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs has noted that a loyal customer is typically worth about 10x their original purchase. They’ll come back for repeat business on their own. Marketing Metrics has found that the profitability of an existing customer is 60-70%, but just 5-20% for a new prospect.
Once you get a customer, it pays to nurture the relationship and keep your brand at the top of their mind. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can do just that. The program can be synced with your website, online forms, email and phone systems. Any time a lead or customer provides their information, it’s captured by the CRM.
If that’s all a CRM could do, it would be nothing more than an automatic, online Rolodex. But CRM software goes much further. Managers and sales agents can create email campaigns that are automatically triggered when a new lead comes in. They can analyze the data and create reports to learn more about the customer base. They can also keep track of every touchpoint, so that customers aren’t overwhelmed and turned off by constant contact.
Customer relationship management is something that big businesses have invested in for years. Software has leveled the playing field so that even small companies with a few employees can manage contact information in a way that creates loyal customers.
4. Reputation Management Software
Another piece of software that just about any business can use is reputation management software. Before the invention of the Internet, forums and social media sites, word of mouth was restricted to who you knew personally. Today, people can hear the opinion of customers all over the world.
Keeping customers happy and managing the online conversation is a full-time job, unless you have the right software. There are a number of programs that can continuously monitor when a brand name is mentioned online. Any time someone discusses your company, the software will send an alert. This allows companies to quickly intervene if there’s a complaint, as well as find out who talks about their products the most (whether positively or negatively).
5. Inventory Management Software
Companies that sell products have a lot of moving pieces to manage. From international corporations to one-man shops operating out of a house, without inventory management, productivity and profitability is going to suffer.
Inventory management software doesn’t just track the number of units that are available for purchase. It can track a particular item through the entire delivery process, automate some inventory tasks and help you track orders. The information that’s gathered can also help a business identify weaknesses in the supply chain.
With a few key pieces of software, almost any company can learn more about their business and the customers they serve. As technology keeps advancing, you can expect the software options out there to keep expanding right along with it.
Let me know which tool are you using and how is it helping your business grow! :)